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What is a Wood Shingle Roof?

DECRA Wood Shingle Roof
What is a Wood Shingle Roof?

Prior to the early 1900s, the term shingle was synonymous with a wood roof. When asphalt shingles were introduced in 1901, roofing jargon evolved to differentiate between the two types of shingles, thus creating material-specific terms, such as asphalt shingles and wood shingles.

As other roofing materials entered the market, like metal shingles, the same naming convention was applied.

While the roofing material may vary, the term shingle indicates that installation takes place on a sloped roof and shingles are placed in an overlapping manner from the bottom to the top.

If you’re researching a wood shingle roof, you’ve likely come across two terms that are used interchangeably–wood shingle and wood shake.

What's the difference between a wood shingle and a wood shake roof? 

While wood shingle and wood shake are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences between the two that can be difficult to distinguish to the untrained eye.


Wood shingle roofs are an important design element for traditional and rustic themes that rely on the distinct shadows, vivid colors and natural textures of wood.

Though wood shingles provide the required aesthetics for traditional and rustic themes, they leave much to be desired when it comes to performance.

Shortcomings of Wood Shingles

Wood shingles come with a list of issues that require ongoing maintenance, repairs and replacement, such as:

  • Quickly fading to a dull gray after exposure to sunlight and the elements.
  • Cupping and splitting, making the roof vulnerable to wind uplift.
  • Repeated wet/dry cycles induce the expansions and contractions that can cause loosening around the fasteners.
  • Shady, damp locations can foster mold and other bacterial growth, requiring extra chemical treatments and cleaning.
  • Wood is extremely flammable and is not recommended for homes in and near wildfire-prone areas.

Fortunately, modern metal roofing products–such as stone-coated steel–provide an industrial-strength roof in styles, textures and colors that meet the aesthetic requirements of any style of home.

Wood Shingles versus Metal Roofing

When it comes to roofing, metal is tough to beat due to its longevity, durability, low maintenance and high ROI. Some noteworthy benefits of metal roofing include:

>>>Related Resource: Read 10 Things You Need to Know About Metal Roofing.

While the benefits of metal are impressive, some homeowners are concerned that a metal roof would appear too industrial for their traditional or rustic-themed home.

Modern metal roofing products, such as stone-coated metal roofing, use state-of-the-art technology and advanced manufacturing methods to produce one of the most durable roofs on the market. DECRA’s Shake and Shake XD line or products are designed to replicate a traditional wood shingle roof without the ongoing maintenance required.

Need proof that a metal roof can replicate the look of a wood shingle roof?

It’s time for a quick quiz.

Which of the four homes below has a metal roof?
Hint: Two homes have a stone-coated metal roof and two homes have a wood shingle roof.


Ready for the answers?

The first and the third homes have stone-coated metal roofs. The second and fourth homes have wood shingle roofs.

*Bonus points if you noticed that the image at the top of this article is a metal roof, too.

Experience the DECRA Difference 

DECRA Metal Roofing’s line of stone-coated steel roofing products bridge the gap between industrial durability and design versatility, giving homeowners the benefits of industrial metal roofing without sacrificing on style.

DECRA Shake provides the classic elegance of wood shingles with the endurance and longevity that only stone-coated steel can provide.


DECRA Shake XD provides the rustic tones and architectural details of hand-split wood shake as well as the high-performance, low-maintenance and element-resistant strength of stone-coated steel.


As the original stone-coated metal roofing manufacturer, DECRA Metal Roofing products have withstood the test of time since 1957. Manufactured at our facility in Corona, California, our products are tested above and beyond the requirements to ensure the quality that DECRA is known for is present in each and every stone-coated metal roofing panel we produce.

Ready to see and feel the DECRA difference? Click here to order a free sample.

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